Illinois parents who decide to divorce must determine how they will handle child custody. Historically, women have been granted physical custody of their children with the fathers having visitation on the weekends and during summer months. More recently, courts have been favoring shared custody arrangements in which the children spend nearly equal amounts of time with both parents.
Instead of making the children move back and forth between their homes, some parents are trying a new type of shared parenting called nesting. In this type of arrangement, the kids remain in the family home while the parents switch off spending their time in the home with the children. People who choose this type of arrangement do so to try to disrupt their children’s lives as little as possible.
Parents who believe that they can get along well enough for a nesting arrangement should be aware that their children may be confused, believing that their parents will get back together. They will want to have frank and open discussions with their children so that no one gets the wrong idea. They should also discuss such matters as housekeeping and grocery shopping in order to minimize their conflicts.
Child custody agreements may be difficult for parents to negotiate. By keeping the best interests of the kids in mind, parents may reach agreements that are better for all who are involved. Family law attorneys may suggest alternatives that might work for their clients and their children. They may work to negotiate agreements short of going to court. It is sometimes possible to reach full agreements without having to go through bitter divorce trials. In some cases, it may be possible to resolve most of the issues in dispute while only litigating a few remaining issues. Attorneys may work to protect their clients’ interests throughout the divorce process.